Tiling WMs, workflow

I’ve been a i3/dwm user for about 3 years and am considering switching back to something like openbox with a single workspace because I find myself engaging in unvanted distractions within my current workflow, having way too many unnecessary things open at different workplaces and across my monitors. The efficiency is unbeatable with comfortable bindings, but I’m a human, not some machine that can efficiently process endless streams of information, so having slightly less efficiency in distractions may not counterintuatively be a bad thing.

So, how do you organize your workflow to fight against distractions?

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7 Virtual desktop, each associated with a specific group of tasks. Current tasks are:

  • Browser
  • Communication
  • Work
  • Downloads
  • Terminals
  • Music
  • Scratch

In terms of actual organization, quadrant snapping and tabs serve all of my needs when combined with virtual desktops.


Almost everything is keyboard driven, and window focus follows my mouse pointer.

This is quite similar to my current setup, with named tags and such.
It may work well for individuals accustomed to NOT procrastinating constantly, but what my original point was essentially, although poorly communicated is this: is multitasking creating a “mess” actually preferable so it discourages such behaviour slightly?

In my opinion, no. I find it helps reduce distractions. I can only ever see one desktop at a time, and I don’t mix tasks. If you can see it, it can distract you. That’s actually why I prefer virtual desktops.

Overly aggressive notifications are a big distraction, as are status monitoring things. Got Conky? Kill it. Got an MPRIS notifier? Kill it.

Open your browser as little as possible. It’s hard to keep browser tasks really seperated because all browsers generally suck. Instead of clicking “Subscribe” on YouTube, throw your favorite channels into an RSS reader. Same with blogs and podcasts.

A real procrastinator always finds a way I guess. I use mostly terminal-based applications, newsboat, youtube-viewer, mutt etc.
Maybe my approach to the problem is that of finding scapegoats instead of trying hard enough to better my ways otherwise.
I find that the only thing that truly keeps me consistently productive is being disconnected from the internet, but am quite envious of people that seem to seamlessly integrate it’s benefits to their workflows and stay out of trouble.